This Sells Much Better Than Sex in Super Bowl Ads

Super Bowl ads that use sex to sell products tend to flop. But advertisers who use this type of “actor” score every time.

Sex doesn’t sell after all — at least not in Super Bowl ads.

CBS MoneyWatch reports that many of the commercials that have flopped during the big game are ads with a sexy theme. They also tend to score 9 percent lower with consumers compared with commercials that avoid sexy themes, according to ad-tracking firm Ace Metrix.

Peter Daboll, chief executive of Ace Metrix, tells CBS:

“People are more sensitive to the fact there are multiple family members and multiple ages watching at that time. … While they might be OK with certain ads in certain situations, it’s not OK here.”

Ace Metrix’s recent analysis of the most-liked Super Bowl commercials from the past five years reveals that none of the top 10 used sex as an advertising technique.

Instead of skin, it turns out viewers want to see fur — especially that of dogs and puppies.

As Daboll puts it:

“We’ve always said it’s better to use a puppy than a celebrity. Dogs seem to rule.”

Canines are featured in four of the top 10 Super Bowl ads from 2011-2015, and horses and polar bears also make appearances in the top ads.

The No. 1 ad, Budweiser’s “Puppy Love,” features a puppy and a Clydesdale.

CBS reports that for Super Bowl 50, which airs Feb. 7 on that network, ads are selling for as much as $5 million per 30-second time block.

According to a recent analysis by Ad Age, the total amount spent on Super Bowl ads this year is a record $377 million. That’s more than was spent on Super Bowl ads in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s combined ($299 million).

Since the first Super Bowl in 1967, a total of $4.5 billion — or $5.9 billion when adjusted for inflation — has been spent on ads for the big game.

What’s your favorite Super Bowl ad? Share your thoughts in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

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